The purple worm was akin to an enormous and bizarre earthworm.
As its name implied, the purple worm was deep purple in color, with a pale yellow underbelly. Separating its yellow part from its purple part were hard crests going down its sides. It was well-armored and segmented. One end of the purple worm terminated in a large, toothed mouth, with slit-like eyes set above the mouth and dragon's ear-like limbs at the sides of the "head". While many that encountered the purple worm worried about falling into the worm’s mouth, they commonly forgot about the creature’s tail, which was capped by a poisonous paralytic stinger. The purple worm was often depicted as bursting out of the ground and arching itself in a distinctive pose. Purple worms were not able to speak.
Purple worm eggs were approximately 3 ft (0.91 m) in diameter, silvery spheres with extremely hard shells. Purple worms often clustered their eggs together in groups of six and suspended them from their chamber walls by strands of sticky saliva.
After successfully hatching, these young creatures were known as purple wormlings. To be classed as wormlings, the creatures had to be less than 6 weeks old. At this point, the wormlings were about 9 ft (2.7 m) long and weighed 1,500 lb (680,000 g).
Purple worms spent their time burrowing through the underground and sought to consume any organic matter they found. Their favored and most feared method of attack was swallowing their prey whole. Many groups of adventures succumbed to such a fate, disappearing down a Purple Worm's gullet one after the other. Purple worms could also attack with their tail stinger, and by grabbing and grappling with prey.
Varieties of purple worms were known to live in lakes or desert plains. These creatures possessed color variations that allowed them to blend in with their respective environments.
Purple worms existed deep within the earth. They made their lairs in vast underground caverns when they consumed too much, allowing them to digest while they rested.
Purple worms laid eggs in areas sometimes called nurseries. Sometimes these areas were the home of other creatures that formed a symbiotic relationship with the worms, lurking within their nurseries to hunt for prey that came searching for the worm's valuable eggs, thereby protecting them. Giant spiders and other creatures which had no direct interest in their eggs often served this purpose. Fomorian giants sometimes developed a relationship with the purple worms as well and became caretakers of the clusters of eggs.
Purple worm eggs were highly valued by wizards for various arcane rituals.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 214. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 211. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Christopher Perkins (September 6, 2016). Storm King's Thunder. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 243. ISBN 978-0786966004.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 255. ISBN 978-0786965614.
- ↑ Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 364. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 80. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 171–175. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.